Host Hotels & Resorts Management Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 14, 2012 10:00 am ET


Gregory J. Larson - Executive Vice President

Larry K. Harvey - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President


Eli Hackel - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Robin M. Farley - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Joshua Attie - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Smedes Rose - Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., Research Division

William A. Crow - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Harry Curtis - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

James W. Sullivan - Cowen and Company, LLC, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. Please note, today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Mr. Greg Larson, Executive Vice President. Please go ahead, sir.

Gregory J. Larson

Well, thank you. Welcome to the Host Hotels & Resorts Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. Before we begin, I'd like to remind everyone that many of the comments made today are considered to be forward-looking statements under federal securities laws. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause future results to differ from those expressed, and we are not obligated to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Additionally, on today's call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial information such as FFO, adjusted EBITDA and comparable hotel results. You can find this information in today's earnings press release, in our 8-K filed with the SEC and on our website at

Before we begin, I'd like to introduce our new Vice President of Investor Relations, Gee Lingberg, who is here with us today on the call. Gee has been with Host for 18 years, most recently in our Treasury Group.

This morning, Ed Walter, our President and Chief Executive Officer, will provide a brief overview of our fourth quarter results, and then we'll describe the current operating environment, as well as the company's outlook for 2012. Larry Harvey, our Chief Financial Officer, will then provide greater detail on our fourth quarter results, including regional and market performance. Following their remarks, we will be available to respond to your questions.

And now, here's Ed.

Larry K. Harvey

Thank you, Ed. Let me start by giving you some detail on our comparable hotel RevPAR results. Our top-performing market for the quarter was Hawaii, with a RevPAR increase of 23.6%. Occupancy improved more than 11 percentage points, driven by strong group and transient demand, which lead to a 5% increase in rate. Results for the quarter benefited from the renovations of the hotels in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Food and beverage revenues for our Hawaiian hotels increased more than 18% and, as a general trend, we saw stronger F&B revenue growth throughout our portfolio. Hawaii also had an outstanding year with a RevPAR increase of 16%, the second best market in our portfolio. We expect Hawaii to be one of our top-performing markets in 2012, due to strong group demand, which should allow us to drive pricing.

As expected, our Miami and Fort Lauderdale hotels had another great quarter, with RevPAR up 16.3%. Occupancy improved 8 percentage points as group demand was very strong and ADR increased nearly 4%. The renovation of the Miami Biscayne Bay Marriott in the fourth quarter of 2010 contributed to the RevPAR growth. For the year, our Miami and Fort Lauderdale hotels had RevPAR growth of 9.7%, and we expect them to have a good year due to growth in ADR in 2012.

The Phoenix market continued to perform exceptionally well with a RevPAR increase of 15.7%. Strong group demand aided by the construction of a new ballroom and meeting space renovations at the Westin Kierland in 2010 resulted in an occupancy increase of over 5 percentage points. And ADR growth of nearly 6% was driven by increases in both group and transient rates.

Our Phoenix hotels had F&B revenue growth of nearly 29% in the quarter. They also performed very well for the full year, with a RevPAR increase of 13.3%. We expect our Phoenix hotels to perform in line with our portfolio in 2012 due to solid group demand, which will result in further ADR growth.

While our Philadelphia Downtown Marriott is no longer under renovation, our Philadelphia hotels had an outstanding fourth quarter, with RevPAR up 13.5%. ADR increased nearly 12%, and occupancy improved over 1 percentage point. Strength in group bookings drove the outperformance and lead to an F&B revenue increase of over 15%. We expect our Philadelphia hotels to excel in 2012, primarily due to strong group demand and no negative impact from the renovation.

Our San Francisco hotels continued their excellent performance as RevPAR increased 11.2% due to an ADR improvement of nearly 9% and an occupancy increase of 1.5 percentage points. The improvement in ADR was driven by both rate increases and the shift in the mix of business to higher-rated segments.

Both group and transient demand were strong. For 2011, San Francisco was our top-performing market with a RevPAR increase of 16.3%, and it will continue to perform well in 2012. RevPAR for our Chicago hotels increased by 6.3%, driven by an increase in occupancy of nearly 3 percentage points and an improvement in average rate of over 2% as both transient and group demand were good. We expect our Chicago hotels to have another good year due to strong group and citywide bookings, which should drive ADR growth.

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